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Liv n Let Die: Del Brown – Bristol Entrepreneur or “Slum Landlord” ?

City

Single mums demand repairs and a halt to “revenge eviction”.

Del Brown, a Bristol born and bred multi-millionaire, is “damaging the health of his tenants” claim community action group Association of Communities for Reform Now (ACORN). Three single mums will be delivering letters this Saturday 25 July to his Liv n Let property management company on Mina Rd in St Werburghs, as part of an ACORN protest demanding immediate repairs to their damp infested houses in Chaplin and Villiers roads, Easton.

In one case, the tenant will also be demanding the halt of eviction proceedings that were initiated after the tenant made several complaints to Liv n Let. ACORN have identified this as a “revenge eviction”, whereby tenants are punished for complaining about poor housing conditions.

Nick Ballard of ACORN told the Cable: “200,000 people a year face eviction from their homes in revenge for complaining about neglect and disrepair. The ‘no fault’ eviction measures available to landlords under Section 21 of the Housing Act make it difficult for tenants to prove that they are being victimised. Liv n Let claim the eviction of our member is in order to sell the property but this does not wash coming as it does after complaints about the condition and the ease with which properties may be sold with a sitting tenant in these days of readily-available Buy to Let mortgages.”

Del Brown, personal owner of over a hundred properties, owner of Liv n Let and director of up to a dozen other companies, self describes as a “very successful property investor and developer” and has claimed to be worth up to £40 Million as well as authoring a book titled “Making Money From Property: Bristol Fashion”. Earlier this year Mr Brown was featured in local magazine Bristol 24/7 where he stated “the people of Bristol are a joy to live with and a pleasure to do business with. I love helping them out.” No questions were asked regarding the business practises of Mr Brown and Liv n Let.

However, images obtained by the Cable suggest that Mr Brown’s community orientated approach should be called into question.

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This extensive range of photos appear to show serious damp and unfinished building and decoration work in the three houses. Despite these photos being taken during the summer months the damp still remains, suggesting that as winter draws in the problem and health implications for the tenants and families will become more severe. A qualified damp surveyor commissioned by ACORN, although yet to visit the properties, has indicated that the pictures suggest the properties may be unsafe to live in. As the Cable has previously reported, the Centre for Sustainable Energy states that “approximately 25% of winter admissions for childhood asthma can be attributed to indoor mould and dampness”.

Whilst the tenants and ACORN have made repeated requests for repairs to be made, Liv n Let have made little progress, with one tenant now facing possible eviction, which ACORN claim is a punishment for making the complaints. In response ACORN have organised an action at 11am on Saturday 25 July meeting at Mina Road Park.

Nick from ACORN told the Cable:

“Liv N Let are notorious locally for their shoddy and uncaring service. Saturday will see their tenants make a stand for their rights with the support of their friends, neighbours and fellow union members. The message to all rogue landlords is loud and clear: the abuse and exploitation of tenants will not be tolerated. ACORN will target you and your business interests and we will not give up. This is not going away, nor will it fizzle out. We’re just getting started.”

Mr Brown failed to respond to the Cable’s request for comment at the time of publication.

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